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Esteban Ocon

Ocon pushing for more than just healthy rivalry with Alonso

Alpine had a strong start to their 2021 Formula 1 campaign, completing the fourth most laps over the course of winter testing in Bahrain. Esteban Ocon will be joined by new teammate Fernando Alonso this season, and while the Frenchman expects a healthy rivalry, he also expects it to be competitive.

Ocon Bahrain
To news overview © Alpine

Esteban Ocon is looking forward to a healthy rivalry with Fernando Alonso over the course of the season, though the Frenchman made it clear that won't stop either man from pushing the other in order to achieve success for Alpine.

The French outfit are embarking on a new era after the rebranding of Renault, and even debuted an eye-catching airbox/engine cover combination on the first day of testing. It's one of several new features about the team this season, with Alonso's return to the sport perhaps the biggest one.

Ocon, who enjoyed a solid debut campaign for the team last season, is looking forward to working with the Spaniard though he knows neither men will hold back when it comes to competing on the track.

"Of course we want a healthy rivalry, that is clear," Ocon told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. "However we want to push each other in terms of performance to get some decent results, quick lap times in qualifying and all the rest of it.

"I have a good relationship with Fernando so far and I expect it to be the same for the rest of the season."

Along with a new teammate, Ocon and the rest of the Formula 1 grid will have to get used to new Pirelli tyres this season. The Frenchman knows there will be a learning curve, but he doesn't see a night or day difference compared to last season's tyres.

"In the end it's the same for everyone," Ocon added. "That's important and it could be similar when we come back here for the race.

"When I drove yesterday [Saturday] it was warmer but overall we struggled on long stints with the tyre and there was a lot of degradation, the sand obviously didn't help.

"It isn't a night and day difference compared to last year and there is still a learning curve."


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